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Murder of baby April “still looked over” by strangers remains unsolved 20yrs after she was strangled with pair of tights

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More than 20 years after a baby girl was found brutally murdered and dumped in a lake, cold case investigators are no closer to tracing her killler.

The newborn baby was strangled with a pair of tights, before being wrapped in a Kleenex toilet tissue bag and thrown into Singleton Lake, Kent.

Nicknamed April by police, the girl also had paper stuffed into her mouth, reports Kent Live.


A post mortem revealed that the unidentified child died by asphyxiation.

Cops checked 3,858 people in an attempt to trace the mother, but to no avail.

Neither her parents or her killers have ever been traced, and Kent Police ‘s investigators are keeping the cold case open.

A police officer stands outside a forensic tent in Bybrook Cemetery

The tiny body was found on April 3, 1995, when a teenage couple walking alongside the picturesque lake in Ashford spotted a Motaworld carrier bag in the water.

They called the police and a murder enquiry was launched, named Operation Duke.

Hundreds of teenage girls around Ashford and Tenterden who were not at school around the time of the birth were interviewed.

Doctors and midwives were drafted in to help account for all expectant mothers.

But despite the extensive search, the parents of Baby April were never identified.

What police do know is the baby weighed 7lbs and is believed to have been born between March 26 and April 3, 1995.

She was later buried in the Bybrook Cemetery, Kennington, Ashford.

In 2011, her body was exhumed so forensic teams could carry out an examination and obtain her DNA profile.

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Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate’s Cold Case Team did this with authority from HM Coroner.

They then launched a renewed appeal for anyone with any information to contact them.

Former Detective Inspector Dave Withers explained at the time: “It is important that we use advances in forensic technology to help us identify who the parents of this child are.

“We have exhumed the baby for that purpose.”

Police were desperate for anyone with any information at all to come forward.

But they were particularly keen to hear from Baby April’s mother to listen to her side of the story.

On May 12 2011, after the forensic examination was complete, there was a private burial service for Baby April.

Police officers attended and watched on as her body was returned to Bybrook Cemetery to allow her to finally rest in peace.

Kent Police now have a full DNA profile of the child, which they say makes it easier to exclude individuals from the investigation with the use of a DNA test.

In August 2011 an appeal was issued to trace a couple who had been seen close to April’s grave.

A man and a woman in their 30s had been spotted visiting the grave in the same month she was exhumed.

Police released descriptions of each of them, including their car and clothes, in a desperate bid to bring closure to the case.

But when they were eventually identified, police said they were eliminated from the enquiry.

The parents of baby April have not yet come forward.

Her grave in Bybrook Cemetery been cared for by strangers in the years that have passed.

Her death still touches many people in Ashford, and her resting place is adorned with toys and flowers.

But in February 2015, thieves stole toys from her grave just weeks before the 20th anniversary of her death.

A handwritten note was found among the remaining flowers warning the “sick and cruel” thieves to say away.

It read: “To the person who stole Baby April’s toys. You are sick and cruel.

“Leave Baby April alone. Do you not realise she is watched over?

“You will be caught soon I hope. Stupid.”

Detective Sergeant Andrea Richards of the cold case team said: “The tragic death of baby April in Singleton, Ashford, in 1995 remains unsolved.

“The cold case team carries out regular reviews into unsolved murders, rapes and other serious offences, and while the evidence surrounding baby April’s death is not currently being re-examined it is important to remember that no case is ever truly closed.

“We continue to appeal for information that may help us identify new lines of enquiry, and urge anyone who can help to call us.”

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